Expressing satisfaction over the performance of J&K Bank in various sectors, its Chairman & CEO Mushtaq Ahmad has said the lender will continue to take steps for further improvements and increase credit levels to over Rs 25,000 crore from the current Rs 18,000 crore.
"In next two to three years, J&K Bank's credit book will increase beyond Rs 25,000 crore from the existing Rs 18,000 crore," Ahmed said.
He was delivering the inaugural lecture at valedictory function of Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the bank here last night in the presence of state Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
"Everybody knows during the last three to four years there has been a slowdown in the Indian economy. There was very small credit growth in rest of the country - it has been around 15 per cent.
"But we have been growing in the Jammu and Kashmir by 25 per cent as per out credit book -- that means a great satisfaction to us," he said.
On the growth of the bank, he said after being set up having few branches and then battling the crisis during the 1947 partition, it has come a long way and now had 639 branches.
"When we see towards the contribution to the state -- out of a total credit of Rs 27,000 crore -- J&K Bank alone has contributed Rs 18,000 crore, which is about 67 per cent of the total," he said.
As far as total priority sector advances are concerned, J&K Bank has contributed 63 per cent, he said adding as regards agriculture credit, it stood at 76 per cent to the sector, which is the backbone of the state's economy.
As fas as financial inclusion and inclusive growth is concerned, which is buzzword for Indian economy, the bank took concrete steps including the apple project in Kashmir, Ahmed said.
He said out of around 28,500 fruit growers and dealers, not many were beneficiaries of institutional credit.
A special drive was launched and a credit of Rs 2,400 crore has been given to the fruit industry, he said adding of this the apple growers and dealers have been given a credit of Rs 1,500 crore.
The bank chief further said "we expect within a period of 2 years, we will be bringing 11,500 fruit growers into our fold and the overall credit for this industry would be to the tune